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[ Datum: 31 März 2016 ]







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Hebrew calendar

Collection Studio » Dates Calculator » Hebrew calendar
Israel 10 New Israeli Agorot (1980) KM#108
10 New Israeli Agorot (Israel, 1980). 3 symbols at bottom are date.

Hebrew calendar or Jewish calendar is lunar calendar, used in Israel. It is used mostly for religion purposes; however Hebrew dates often used on coins and banknotes.

First problem of conversion dates is converting Jewish numbers to usual for us Arabic numbers.

For numbers are used all Hebrew alphabet letters, like this table:

  Alef (א) Alef 1     Yod (י) Yod 10     Koph (ק) Koph 100  
  Bet (ב) Bet 2     Chaf (כ) Chaf 20     Resh (ר) Resh 200  
  Gimel (ג) Gimel 3     Lamed (ל) Lamed 30     Shin (ש) Shin 300  
  Daled (ד) Daled 4     Mem (מ) Mem 40     Tav (ת) Tav 400  
  Heh (ה) Heh 5     Nun (נ) Nun 50  
  Vav (ו) Vav 6     Samekh (ס) Samekh 60  
  Zayin (ז) Zayin 7     Ayin (ע) Ayin 70  
  Cheth (ח) Cheth 8     Peh (פ) Peh 80  
  Teth (ט) Teth 9     Tsadi (צ) Tsadi 90  

You can see, than there is no letters left for 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900. In most cases for this used two or three other letters like: 400 + 100 or 400 + 400 + 100.

To convert number you need to determine numerical value for each number and sum them all. For example:

Zayin (ז)Samekh (ס)Tav (ת) = 7 + 60 + 400 = 467

Notice unusual right-to-left direction of letters, used in hebrew writing.

For thousands in Hebrew numbers are used same letters, but separated by apostrophe (') from ones. For example:

Cheth (ח)''Samekh (ס)Shin (ש)Tav (ת)'Heh (ה)=
= 8 + 60 + 300 + 400 + 5 × 1000  = 5768

So we have successfully converted long Hebrew numbers into habitual numbers. Next task will be easier — we need to convert date from Hebrew calendar into Gregorian, used in most countries. So how Hebrew calendar differs from our usual?

  • First of all years countdown begins from day of Creation which was on October 7, 3761 BC. So we need to subtract 3761 from Hebrew date. In general, better to subtract just 3760, because 7 October was almost end of year 3761.
  • Second: Hebrew calendar is lunisolar calendar which is affected by both moon and sun. As a result Hebrew year can last 353 — 383 days. In case of approximate calculation you can ignore this fact. If you want to calculate exact date you need to use sufficiently complex methods.

So as a result:

If you want to convert Hebrew date to Gregorian date, you need to subtract 3760 from original year:

YearGregorian ≈ YearHebrew– 3760.

You can see, that last example corresponds to year 2008 (5768 - 3760 = 2008) in Gregorian calendar. In general, this number represents term from September 13, 2007 till September 29, 2008.

And there is another thing you should know about. Sometimes years can be displayed in short form — without thousands (it's like we use 04 instead of 2004, 86 instead of 1986, etc). So:

Cheth (ח)''Samekh (ס)Shin (ש)Tav (ת)'Heh (ה) = Cheth (ח)''Samekh (ס)Shin (ש)Tav (ת)

That's all you need to know to "decrypt" hebrew dates. This is not exact, but simplest and fastest way to do it.

Hebrew year conversion


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